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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in acceptance (3)


Sharing and Spreading the New Church with Mutual Support

Karin observes the New Church as a movement much larger than its organized chapters. In a magnanimous voice she explores how negative attitudes towards diversity that exist within the church limit its growth and diminish its success. She walks the reader through another way of responding to difference. -Editor.

The New Church is so much more than organizations. The New Church is a mentality—a state of mind, and a way of acting. There is much “New Church” thought being mulled over in the world, both among people who read the works of Emanuel Swedenborg and among those who have never heard of him.

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We, Distinct from Our Teachings

Derek challenges the reader to examine the dissonance between actual teachings in the church, the culture surrounding it and the community of believers by looking at three pertinent examples. He argues that we are often not clear enough about what mean when we use the term “church.” Through an exploration of the teachings about acceptance, use and marriage, Derek seeks to start a conversation in which people learn to see what is taught in distinction from what is culturally absorbed. -Editor

Consider this: when you think about the New Church, when you comment on it or complain about it, when you praise it or when you hate it, to what specific reference point is your action directed? In other words, what is the object of your complaint, praise, or thought? Is it the people in the community around you? Is it the doctrine itself? Is it an interpretation of that doctrine? Often the concept of the New Church is lumped into a conglomerate whole and we fail to challenge ourselves to define and delineate its separate aspects. In my view, there are three primary components of the Church: the teachings, the organization, and the culture. As people of the larger New Church society, we need to recognize these as distinct elements in order to build a healthier community, and ultimately, to better align them.

Think: where do they not align? Where has a cultural trend supplanted a doctrinal teaching? In such an instance, would we even be aware of the shift, or in our oversimplification of the definition would we be blind to the difference? Let’s take a closer look at how this pertains to a few specific and fundamental New Church principles: acceptance, use, and marriage.

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Even as We are One

Isaac tells of making friends on an airplane and traveling in China and East-Africa. He questions some General Church assumptions about who is actually the heart and lungs of the Lord's church on earth. In the same vein, he wonders whether we are confused in making assumptions about who is in or out of the New Church. These types of questions are addressed further in the context of relationships by Garrett Smith and Meryl Mochado.

Last week I walked our family dog up Guinea Road and visited some dear old friends nestled in their vineyard spread on a hill not too far from my family's new home. I've been away in China and Africa for some time and it was gift of sweet mercy to near their home and enter the door into their smiles and share the Lord's love together. I was again awed by the peaceful view of the mountains from their spacious windows, mountains I knew, mountains I was used to seeing from a different angle. There was the Pinnacle, which I hiked as a boy and a young man, and another mountain, the Sharp, on whose face sat the beloved cabin my family called home.

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